It just keeps getting harder for Duke.
Syracuse became the latest team to beat the Blue Devils, winning 64-62. It is the first three-game losing streak for Duke since 2006-07 season. This will also surely break a streak of 166 straight weeks in the AP poll for the No. 20 Blue Devils.
Like the losses to Clemson and Notre Dame, this one came down to the wire Monday night. It was a one-possession game with two minutes left and Syracuse up 61-58. Out of a Duke timeout, Tyler Roberson drove to the basket and converted a layup through contact to extend the Orange lead to 63-58.
Grayson Allen drove through the Syracuse zone with the shot clock winding down to cut the deficit to
63-60 with 1:28 remaining.
Cooney couldn’t get a tough jumper to go on the Orange’s next possession, and Marshall Plumlee was able to grab the defensive rebound. The shot clock on Duke’s next possession ticked down to five with 34.2 seconds left. The ball went to Plumlee, who found a way to lay it in to cut into the Syracuse lead again at
63-62 with 31.3 seconds left.
With just 1.3 seconds difference between the shot and game clocks, Duke was forced to foul. Michael Gbinije missed the front-end of his one-and-one attempt, and Allen was fouled as he started to drive. That was just Syracuse’s fourth team foul. Allen was fouled again on the inbounds, leaving just 10.8 seconds. Allen got the ball again, and his drive wouldn’t go.
There were no fouls called in the rebounding scrum, and Malachi Richardson emerged with it and was fouled. He made his first free throw and missed his second. But the
64-62 lead was enough for
Syracuse, as Matt Jones heaved a prayer from midcourt
that didn’t draw a foul call or come anywhere close to the basket.
After Duke struggled to rebound against Notre Dame, those problems rose to a new level against Syracuse. The two games in three days turnaround wasn’t a recipe for success — it was one for disaster.
Roberson, who entered the game averaging 8.5 rebounds had 20 — 12 coming on the offensive glass. In the first eight minutes of the second half, the Orange missed 15 shots — and grabbed 12 offensive rebounds. With each passing one, Mike Krzyzewski grew more and more frustrated. He was as demonstratively angry as he has been all year. At the media timeout with 10:27 left in the game, his fire and brimstone speech in the huddle brought the people behind Duke’s bench to their feet.
But when Richardson missed a jump shot and yet another offensive rebound turned into a Trevor Cooney 3-pointer Krzyzewski stayed on the bench this time with his arms crossed. There was nothing more he could say. All he could do was watch.
Richardson added 14 points to his 20 rebounds. Roberson, Gbinije and Cooney each also scored 14 points.
Gbinije added nine assists, and Tyler Lydon had nine rebounds.
Syracuse hit 47.8 percent from 3-point range (11-for-23), while Duke hit 27.0 percent (10-for-37) of its shots from beyond the arc. The Orange, meanwhile, hit for 35.2 percent from the field (25-for-71) and Duke 37.1 percent(23-for-62).
Duke got 19 points and 17 rebounds from Plumlee, while Allen finished with 18 points. Brandon Ingram had 13 points and 11 rebounds.
While Syracuse had only a seven-rebound edge (49-42), the Orange benefited from 26 offensive boards, which they turned into 17 second-chance points.
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